Meet The Finalists: 'Maritime 2050' Award


The future of the UK’s maritime sector will feature strongly at the first ever Maritime UK Awards being held at a glittering ceremony in Southampton during the Southampton International Boat Show. The inaugural award Diamond Sponsors are Stellamar Employment Solutions and DonMac Data.

The Department for Transport is sponsoring the 2050 Award which is open to businesses of any size which are taking steps to capitalise on the opportunities presented within Maritime 2050. This is the first long-term strategy developed in close partnership with the industry which highlights the Government's recognition of the importance of the maritime sector to Britain's future success.                                                                             

Highly respected experts from a variety of businesses and government departments were involved in the panel and judge Iain Lower, Head of Naval Staff at the Royal Navy, said: “The standard of entrants surpassed our wildest expectations both in terms of quality and numbers.  More than anything it shows the UK maritime sector, which adds £37.4bn to the UK economy and supports just under 1 million jobs, is bursting with energy and innovation and is proud of its achievements.”

Roger Hargreaves, Maritime Director at the Department for Transport said: “Maritime 2050 has sparked a fresh wave of enthusiasm about the future of our maritime sector and the Maritime UK awards are a fantastic way to showcase the best and brightest of this.  Selecting the finalists has been a privilege and I hope they provide an inspiration to all on the importance of looking to the future and taking bold action to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global maritime advances.”

The finalists in the 2050 category are Red Funnel Ferries, MJC2 and the Port of Tyne

Red Funnel Ferries is the original Isle of Wight ferry service operating over 35 ferries to the island every day from Southampton. In its entry, Red Funnel highlighted that it had awarded a £10m contract to Cammell Laird to build its new state-of-the-art freight ferry, Red Kestrel - another successive vote of confidence in the British shipbuilding industry and underscoring the values and ambitions set out in the Maritime 2050 strategy. The order marked the third successive UK-based ship order for Red Funnel, following the build of the company's newest high-speed catamarans Red Jet 6 and Red Jet 7, both of which were built on the Isle of Wight. The latest naming ceremony was held in April of 2019, just a few months after the Maritime 2050 strategy was unveiled. The themes of the vent reflected those in the Maritime 2050 strategy including technology and environment.

MJC2 focuses on developing and implementing advanced planning, scheduling and optimising software systems. MJC’s entry highlights its sSHOP system which relies on multi-modal optimisation, itself very challenging and previously unsolved. sSHOP synchro-modal algorithms also drive increased use of coastal or short sea shipping movements, taking long-distance freight movements off the road and making better use of regional ports. Commercially, MJC2 has engaged with major logistics organisations such as Cosco Shipping, Kuehne+Nagel and DHL. The results are very impressive and include a 10-30% reduction in fuel usage for shipping approaching port.

The Port of Tyne is one of UK’s most innovative and efficient deep-sea ports handling cargoes from five continents. The Port’s “2050 Innovation Hub” is the first DfT Maritime 2050 recognised hub in the UK and as such has attracted interest and collaborative partners such as Nissan, Teesport, Accenture, Royal Haskoning, Ubisoft, Connected Places Catapult and various universities. Initial potential projects have been identified including areas such as first / last mile port automation, blockchain development and supply chain visibility. The centre will also attract high calibre undergraduates and graduates into the maritime sector and promote advances in sustainability and safety.

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “What’s important about the Maritime UK Awards is they’re very much about showcasing the entire spectrum of maritime businesses, from consumer marine and cruising to advanced manufacturing and commercial shipping. I’m delighted to report that the entries very much bear this out. Throughout this process we’ve discovered world-class British products, services and initiatives that we didn’t previously have on our radar. That’s the real prize from these awards.”

Ben Murray, director at Maritime UK, said: “With the number and quality of the entries being so high the judges had the unenviable task of arriving at the shortlists. I think they’ve done a terrific job so huge thanks to everyone. I would also like to thank all the entrants for their enterprise, commitment and enthusiasm. Their support has been invaluable.”

The Maritime UK Awards are the first truly national maritime awards in the UK, organised by industry, for the benefit of industry. The inaugural event will take place in Southampton on 19th September, following a successful drive from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the first awards ceremony to be held in the Solent.

To buy tickets to the awards evening visit the official website. All attendees will receive a free ticket to the Southampton International Boat Show, powered by Borrow A Boat, on purchase of their awards evening ticket.